Negative feedback is tough to hear, but it doesn’t have to be soul-crushing. When your manager or a colleague points out something you need to improve on,
think before you react. Even if the input is upsetting or surprising, remind yourself that it’s useful information to have. One simple, effective way to consider what you’ve heard is to put your feelings into words. For example, after a critical performance review, you might say to yourself, “I feel blindsided and a little scared.” Naming your emotions can keep them from overwhelming your ability to act on the feedback. Then ask a few trustworthy sources whether they agree with what your manager or colleague said. It can be hard to know how others see us, so getting multiple points of view will help you understand the impression you create. It will also prevent you from overcorrecting based on one person’s opinion — which, after all, is what feedback sometimes is.